Dr. Mike Ellis, Production Manager, discusses how graphene electronic device manufacturer Paragraf set out to validate its business processes by obtaining the globally recognised ISO 9001 certification, and what it means for the future of the company.
Having innovative products is a good start, but rarely enough for a company to succeed, regardless of the industry. The products must be commercially viable and manufactured to the highest standard, every time. Maintaining consistent quality across all areas of Paragraf’s operations and benchmarking performance to ensure continuous improvement is vital.
That is why we implemented an Electronic Quality Management System (EQMS). The EQMS is a software system that hosts a wealth of documents and processes that are indispensable to the way we operate. The system is designed to make it easy to view complex processes and sub-processes to ensure that every critical task is carried out consistently and to an approved standard.
Quality management using our EQMS brings us several key advantages. Firstly, it helps enforce consistency by ensuring that all critical processes are easily followed and controlled. Secondly, it provides a system for implementing, tracking, and measuring continuous improvement activities across the business. Crucially, the system is scalable, enabling quality management to adapt and evolve as Paragraf grows its business.
However, implementing the EQMS was just the first step. As we move from prototypes and concepts towards the manufacture of products in larger production quantities, we need a quality management system that can help support structured growth. Having the EQMS in place also highlights our commitment to our customers, suppliers, investors, and staff, proving that we are committed to a culture of quality and continuous improvement.
Paragraf is now ISO 9001 Certified
The EQMS is the system foundation on which every vital process is built. However, to demonstrate our commitment to quality, we applied for ISO 9001 certification. Following a constructive BSI audit, we were awarded the ISO 9001 certificate in August 2020.
The requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 standard are rigorous, and we see this as a positive driver for continuous improvement. Having our processes regularly audited to ensure compliance is an ideal way of evaluating and improving not only quality but also efficiency and productivity. The ISO 9001 certificate is also a simple way to communicate to our customers that we take quality seriously and are committed to developing our operation to make sure we continue to meet and exceed expectations.
Driving Future Improvement
Our EQMS and the globally recognised ISO 9001 certification that validates it are essential building blocks for our future growth. They will enable us to learn from every action and grow our reputation as a reliable, attractive business partner while providing the framework needed to live up to these goals. To ensure success, everyone at Paragraf is committed to driving continuous improvement, through processes that are being led from the top, our senior management team has been actively involved from the start.
Tony Pearce, Chief Operating Officer, commented: “The Paragraf team has worked hard to embed quality into our business. As we continue to ramp our production capacity and capabilities, it is important that we set robust foundations to support our exciting growth. The ISO 9001 accreditation is a key step in ensuring we provide world-class operations to match our benchmark technology.”